First sea swim makes a splash for charity

MACMILLIAN CANCER SUPPORT CHARITY SWIM REP: SB''CAPTION: L-R sisters Penny Nash, 42, from Hill Head and Elaine Chapelhow, 45.''The Macmillan Cancer Support charity swim on Southsea seafront on Saturday. (30th July 2011)''PICTURE: From: Peter Nash [mailto:pete.nash@ntlworld.com] 'Photos from @pennynash (twitter)
MACMILLIAN CANCER SUPPORT CHARITY SWIM REP: SB''CAPTION: L-R sisters Penny Nash, 42, from Hill Head and Elaine Chapelhow, 45.''The Macmillan Cancer Support charity swim on Southsea seafront on Saturday. (30th July 2011)''PICTURE: From: Peter Nash [mailto:pete.nash@ntlworld.com] 'Photos from @pennynash (twitter)
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SWIMMERS who took part in a new seafront charity event raised £10,000 for a cancer support group.

The first Southsea 1km Sea Swim, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, saw 62 fundraisers take to the water at Eastney beach.

The swimmers, who have managed to raise between £8,000 and £10,000 for the cancer charity, swam a 1km length to South Parade Pier.

The event was so successful organisers are already planning another swim next year.

Penny Nash, 42, made a splash on the day with her sister Elaine, 45.

They lost their mother, Janet Chapelhow, to lung cancer 18 years ago.

Penny, of Elsfred Road, Hill Head, said: ‘It was a good day and I enjoyed myself.

‘It suddenly hit me the night before that it had been 25 years since I had done any real swimming.

‘I tried to practice in the sea beforehand but the tide went out and I ended up grounded in ankle deep water.

‘It made me a bit nervous but once I was in the water I enjoyed myself.’

Penny swam to South Parade Pier in just under 14 minutes and raised around £150.

She added: ‘I wanted to do it to raise money in memory of my mum.

‘She died just before my first child was born.

‘She knew I was pregnant but she never got to meet her grandchildren. A few years ago I started getting into charity work.

‘I have three daughters and two sisters and at the time, the statistic was one in three women would get breast cancer.

‘It makes you look at everyone around you and want to do anything you can to change that figure.’

The swimmers, a mix of professionals and amateurs, were flanked by lifeguards in kayaks along the route at sea.

The fastest time taken to complete the swim on Saturday was just under 10 minutes and the longest was 18 minutes.

Lisa Murphy, from Macmillan, said: ‘It was extremely successful and it was the first one of its kind.

‘Everyone who took part did extremely well and the fundraising total is absolutely fantastic.

‘There was a great atmosphere down there. We already have plans for next year.’